This post is written in response to this week’s Weekly Writing Challenge: I Remember. The task was to practice writing by first giving oneself 10 minutes to write down a memory and to come back and edit it a few days later. Below the final post you will also find the original 10 minute draft.
My first memory: a kindergarten playground in winter. The snow lies in deep drifts, sparkling in the quickly darkening day. I remember the sound of children shouting, yelling, laughing. My memory recalls constant movement, as my playmates run and play in the snow. But I am not playing. I stand still next to the fence separating my playground from that of the younger children. A day-care nurse stands next to me. She claps her hands and jumps up and down, telling me to play with the others; it’s too cold to stand still. But I will not leave my sister, who is on the other side of the fence. I think I am three or four years old while she is only two. I don’t remember her face. When I picture her I automatically paste an image from an old photograph and add a snow suit and hood around her face. I imagine her cheeks red from the cold. I imagine the cold itself, bright and sharp. Somewhere imagination and memory blur and I am not sure what is real and what I have added later. Because I know what cold feels like and how snow sparkles. I do not need memory to tell me that. But memory is what that tells me that there is a fence, and a sister on the other side. And memory lets me hear the sound of the hands clapping.
And as promised: First draft, written in 10 minutes, although I was interrupted and distracted once or twice so let’s say 7 minutes….
My first memory is from the playground at my kindergarten. It is winter and the snow is piled high. I remember the sound of children shouting, remeber the image of them running in the snow, playing. The kindergarten woman stands next to me, she claps her hands and tells me to play with the others. it’s too cold to stand still. But I will not leave my sister who is on the other side of a fence, in the younger childrens playground. I must be 3 and she 2. I don’t remeber her face. When I picture her I autmatically paste an image from some photograph and add a snow suit and hood around her face. I imagine her cheeks red from the cold. I imagine the cold itself, bright and sharp. But I see the fence and the toweing figure of the kindergarten lady. I see her hands as they clap repeatedly.
It makes sense my first memory should be of my sister. Until 5 years ago we were inseparabe and still people I have not seen for a while wonder how we can possibly be living apart. Even at the age of three I knew that she was more imprtant than snow flights and playing catch.